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The thirteenth series of Thomas & Friends first aired from January to February 2010 in the UK and from September to November 2010 in the US. From this series onwards, the entire series has been CGI animated.

Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon narrated all twenty episodes, but, like Hero of the Rails, voice actors provided the voices for the characters. Mark Moraghan later re-narrated one episode specially for the Santa's Little Engine DVD in 2013.

Production

Development

In order to cut costs and maximize profits, HiT Entertainment decided to retire the models and have the show be turned into a CGI product. They enlisted Nitrogen Studios to provide the visuals. Nitrogen had already created CGI elements for the twelfth series. Christopher Skala also added that additionally, it was to add more emotion and flexibility through the stories. Previously Skala claimed that, of his focus group, even those who felt that Thomas, as an institution, should not be changed in this way but ultimately responded positively to the demonstration of the new animation techniques. Production for this series by Nitrogen Studios began in January 2009, running concurrently with that of Hero of the Rails.[1]

Reception

Series 13 had proven to be popular around the world with ratings up 86%* in the UK (FIVE Milkshake!), 50%** in the US (PBS) and 47%** in Australia (ABC).

Episodes

  1. Creaky Cranky
  2. The Lion of Sodor
  3. Tickled Pink
  4. Double Trouble
  5. Slippy Sodor
  6. The Early Bird
  7. Play Time
  8. Thomas and the Pigs
  9. Time for a Story
  10. Percy's Parcel
  11. Toby's New Whistle
  12. A Blooming Mess
  13. Thomas and the Runaway Kite
  14. Steamy Sodor
  15. Splish Splash Splosh
  16. The Biggest Present of All
  17. Snow Tracks
  18. Henry's Good Deeds
  19. Buzzy Bees
  20. Hiro Helps Out

Songs

Characters

Characters Introduced

Half Hour Format

When the thirteenth series aired on PBS Kids in the US and Nick Jr. in the UK, each broadcast aired two episodes, a song and a Down at the Station segment.

Friends and Family

  • Creaky Cranky
  • Song: Go, Go Thomas
  • Down at the Station: Passengers
  • Double Trouble

Slips and Trips!

  • Tickled Pink
  • Song: Go, Go Thomas
  • Slippy Sodor

Working Well

  • Play Time
  • Song: Sounds (CGI version)
  • Down at the Station: The Railway Line
  • The Early Bird

Marvellous Moments!

  • Thomas and the Pigs
  • Song: Sounds (CGI version)
  • Down at the Station: The Steam Engine
  • The Lion of Sodor

Best Times

Giving and Sharing

  • Steamy Sodor
  • Song: Thomas, You're the Leader (CGI version)
  • The Biggest Present of All

Wild Weather

  • Splish, Splash, Splosh!
  • Song: Determination (CGI version)
  • Snow Tracks

Good Deeds

  • A Blooming Mess
  • Song: Determination (CGI version)
  • Down at the Station: Fireman
  • Henry's Good Deeds

Out and About

  • Thomas and the Runaway Kite
  • Song: Roll Along
  • Buzzy Bees

Helping Hands

  • Toby's New Whistle
  • Song: Roll Along
  • Hiro Helps Out

Cast

UK, AUS and NZ

  • Ben Small as Thomas and Toby
  • Keith Wickham as Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, the Fat Controller, Dowager Hatt, Sir Lowham Hatt, the Mayor of Sodor and Mr. Bubbles
  • Teresa Gallagher as Emily, Rosie, Mavis, Lady Hatt, Bridget Hatt and her friends and the teacher
  • Togo Igawa as Hiro
  • Matt Wilkinson as Spencer, Charlie, Victor, Rocky, Cranky, Kevin, Stephen Hatt, the Knapford stationmaster, the Maithwaite stationmaster, Farmer Trotter, the bird watcher and Farmer McColl
  • Jules de Jongh as Allicia Botti
  • Kerry Shale as Diesel

US and CAN

  • Martin Sherman as Thomas, Percy and the bird watcher
  • Kerry Shale as Sir Topham Hatt, Henry, Gordon, James, Kevin, Sir Lowham Hatt, Farmer Trotter and the Maithwaite Stationmaster
  • William Hope as Edward, Toby, Rocky, Stephen Hatt, Farmer McColl, the Maithwaite Stationmaster (Double Trouble only) and the Knapford stationmaster
  • Glenn Wrage as Spencer, Cranky and Charlie
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily, Rosie, Mavis, Bridget Hatt and her friends, Allicia Botti and the teacher
  • Togo Igawa as Hiro
  • Michael Brandon as Diesel and Mr. Bubbles
  • David Bedella as Victor and the Mayor of Sodor
  • Keith Wickham as Dowager Hatt

Trivia

  • This is the first series for numerous things:
    • The first series animated exclusively in CGI by Nitrogen Studios.
    • The first series to use individual voice actors instead of solely a narrator outside of Japan and France.
    • Sharon Miller's first series as the creative producer.
    • Marion Edwards' first series as executive producer.
    • Bertie's first appearance in full CGI.
    • Greg Tiernan's first series as a director.
    • Nicole Stinn's first series as a producer.
    • The first series in which Thomas appears and speaks in every episode.
    • The first series to have all episodes eight minutes and forty-five seconds long in the television series.
    • The first series where HarveyWhiffStanleyMighty MacFreddieHector, and Jeremy do not appear since their debuts.
    • The first series in which the Sodor Island intro is not used at the start of individual UK broadcasts.
    • The first and final series since the seventh series to have an episode written by Robyn Charteris.
    • The first series to have episodes written by Miranda Larson and Louise Kramskoy.
  • This is the only series for numerous things:
    • The only series to date in which Salty does not appear since his introduction in the sixth series.
    • The only series with Dave Peacock as voice director.
    • The only series with Jo Jordan as a creative executive.
    • The only series where Mr. Percival was mentioned as The Thin Controller in the US dub.
    • The only series to have episodes written by Allen Plenderleith, David Richard Fox and Alan Hescott. 
  • The following episodes were released in US theatres:
    • The episodes, Splish, Splash, Splosh!, Playtime, Slippy Sodor and Snow Tracks were shown in November 2009.
    • Thomas and the Runaway Kite, Buzzy Bees, Toby's New Whistle and The Biggest Present of All were shown in January 2010.
    • The Lion of Sodor, Thomas and the Pigs, Time for a Story and Hiro Helps Out were shown in October 2010.
  • This series was going to air on broadcast in 2009, but it was pushed to 2010 after the production of the series ended.
  • This series did not air in Canada until 2016.
  • The steam engines' whistles now budge up and down every time they blow it.
  • Edward is the only Steam Team member to not get a starring role this series.
  • Billy was originally going to appear in this series while being rendered in CGI, but he was replaced by Charlie in the final scripts.
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