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The third series of Thomas & Friends first aired in the US on Shining Time Station in November 1991 first, with the last ten episodes following in 1993.

Production

Before production of the third series, Clearwater Features closed down, with The Britt Allcroft Company becoming the sole producer of Thomas. Producer Robert D. Cardona departed the programme before the third series, and Britt Allcroft took his place as co-producer alongside David Mitton.

The series was a mix of episodes derived from the Railway Series, magazines stories (written by the series' former head writer, Andrew Brenner) and some original stories by Allcroft and Mitton. 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. The Rev. W. Awdry took umbrage with the looser adaptations of his stories, and publicly criticized the original episodes for their lack of realism.

Episodes

  1. A Scarf for Percy
  2. Percy's Promise
  3. Time for Trouble
  4. Gordon and the Famous Visitor
  5. Donald's Duck
  6. Thomas Gets Bumped
  7. Thomas, Percy and the Dragon
  8. Diesel Does it Again
  9. Henry's Forest
  10. The Trouble with Mud
  11. No Joke for James
  12. Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train
  13. Trust Thomas
  14. Mavis
  15. Toby's Tightrope
  16. Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party
  17. James Goes Buzz Buzz
  18. All at Sea
  19. One Good Turn
  20. Tender Engines
  21. Escape
  22. Oliver Owns Up
  23. Bulgy
  24. Heroes
  25. Percy, James and the Fruitful Day
  26. Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure

Songs

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Bill and Ben
  • Diesel
  • BoCo
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Terence
  • Bertie
  • Trevor
  • Harold
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • The Vicar of Wellsworth
  • The Little Boys
  • The Dryaw Goods Station Stationmaster
  • The Suddery Stationmaster
  • A Porter
  • The Signalman
  • Stephen Hatt (not named)
  • Jeremiah Jobling (not named)
  • Jem Cole (not named)
  • Mrs. Kyndley (not named)
  • The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's Wife (not named)
  • Lady Hatt (not named)
  • Henrietta (does not speak)
  • Some Workmen (do not speak)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • Farmer Finney (cameo)
  • The Ffarquhar Stationmaster (cameo)
  • Harold's Pilots (cameo)
  • Märklin Engine (scrapped model cameo)
  • Percy's Ghost Engine (mentioned)
  • The Firelighter (mentioned)
  • British Railways Diesels ​(mentioned)
  • The Mainland Diesels (mentioned)
  • Father Christmas (mentioned in the UK version)
  • Daisy (mentioned in music video)

Characters Introduced

Trivia

  • This was the first series to boast several new elements of Thomas & Friends:
    • The first series narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK and George Carlin in the US, as well as the first narrated by Carlin which had not been previously released with Ringo Starr's narrations.
    • The first series to have episodes not based on stories by either Awdry.
    • Britt Allcroft's first series as producer.
    • Angus Wright's first series as executive producer.
    • The first series to use Rockwell font.
    • TUGS models and props make their Thomas & Friends debut.
    • Junior Campbell and Mike O'Donnell used the EMU Proteus 2 Orchestral to create the score. However, some of the music made with the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesiser for the first and second series was used.
    • The first series where Thomas' shocked face gains a buck tooth.
    • The first and only series where Edward's angry face gains some teeth.
    • The first series dubbed in Finnish.
    • The first series which introduced music videos.
    • The first series to have slow motion effects.
    • The first series where Annie and Clarabel only speak in one episode.
    • From this series on, characters would say "be quiet" instead of "shut up," presumably to make the show's language gentler. Although "shut up" was just said in Series 2.
    • The first series to air in the United States via Shining Time Station before airing in the United Kingdom a year later.
    • The first series to have episodes released on home video before their television broadcast in the UK.
    • In the US, the first series to not have a Christmas-themed series finale.
  • The second and third series have the largest gap between any two series: six years. The second series first aired back in 1986 alongside subsequent re-runs of the first and second series which later ceased in 1991 and the airing of the third series in 1992.
  • Only sixteen episodes were released to the USA in 1991 with Thomas, Percy and the Dragon airing on November 18th, 1991 - Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party on December 16th, 1991. The last ten episodes aired in the UK in 1992 before they were released to American television through Shining Time Station a year later in 1993 from All at Sea airing on March 26th, 1993 - One Good Turn airing on August 20th, 1993.
  • In the Ukrainian version, Michael Angelis and George Carlin's voices can be heard in the background, as a dubbing track was not used. The first thirteen episodes have Carlin's voice while the last thirteen episodes have Angelis' voice. Angelis is also credited as narrator in the first thirteen episodes despite Carlin's narration in the background and the episodes being re-dubbed.
  • This is the only series dubbed by Gary Dixon and Gavin Beckwith.
  • The only series in which where Toad doesn't speak, minus his faceless appearances in the new series, and his appearance in a deleted scene in Series 6.
  • For much of the series, Tidmouth Sheds appears to be much larger on the inside than in the first two series. While all the exterior scenes depict the shed with the usual six berths, there are nine tracks seen in most interior views.
  • This is the only series where George Carlin's narration was released on VHS in New Zealand. However, when the third series aired on television in New Zealand outside Shining Time Station, Michael Angelis' narration was used instead. This is also the case when The Complete Third Series was released on DVD in New Zealand.
  • Model maker John Holmes did not receive credit for working on this series until 1992.
  • At the very end of Michael Angelis' early narrations, the credits were shown with a still of the final shot of each 16 episodes there were certain parts of dialogue exclusive to these home videos but were cut out when the series aired in 1992. When shown on television and in future video and DVD releases, the credits were shown alongside a still of Thomas.
  • This was the last series broadcast on CITV until 2003 when the sixth series was shown. Series 4 and 5 would air on Cartoon Network instead.
  • From Thomas Gets Bumped to Buzz, Buzz, each CITV broadcast featured two episodes compiled into a ten-minute block. The difference here was that only the title card for the second episode was shown after the first episode.
  • This series was produced in association with Fuji Television Network, Inc. as indicated by a message at the end of each episode. At the end of the first sixteen episodes, the message is in white, while at the end of the last ten episodes, it is yellow.
  • When this series was repeated on CITV from 8 January to 9 July 1993, some episodes were cut to fit the timeslot.
  • According to The Thomas the Tank Engine Man, it cost £1.3 million to produce all twenty-six episodes.
  • It was during this series that footage of Tidmouth Sheds was shot uniquely for the Japanese-exclusive special Thomas and the U.K. Trip.
  • All at Sea and Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure were the only episodes in this series not based on The Railway Series or a magazine story.
  • The Flying Scotsman makes an obscured appearance once in this series. He is not fully shown until 24 years later with the release of the special, The Great Race.
  • The last ten episodes of this series, from Buzz, Buzz to Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure, were all filmed in a different period after the previous sixteen episodes. As such, some changes on the details on the models and sets have been made:
    • S.S. Roxstar gained red smokestacks.
    • Thomas' red lining on the back of his cab was removed.
    • Henry's brake pipes were also removed.
    • The interior shots for Tidmouth Sheds featured eight berths instead of the usual six.
    • James' laughing face gained teeth.

Gallery

Opening Titles

Ending Sequence

A Britt Allcroft production in association with Fuji Television Network Inc.


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