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The seventh series of Thomas & Friends first aired with All twenty-six episodes were narrated by Michael Brandon in the US, all having at least one version with new music. Michael Angelis also re-narrated four episodes for the US release New Friends for Thomas and Other Adventures. This series was filmed during HiT Entertainment's acquisition of Gullane Entertainment. An episode is paired with the eighth and ninth seriesairings on PBS airings on weekends.

Production

Whilst the acquisition of HiT Entertainment had neared completion, Britt Allcroft not only became a non-executive director, but also started to focus on outside business necessities in her second hometown of Santa Monica, California, USA. Acting as creative consultant would end up being her final involvement with Thomas & Friends.

David Mitton quietly followed suit, deciding not to remain as a full time director for the show anymore. Both of them were joined by Robert Gauld-Galliers, Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell, who shared the same interest.

When the eighth series first aired in 2004 on Nick Jr. in the UK and PBS in the US, a seventh series episode that is thematically similar to the two eighth series episodes in the airing would be shown between them. As there were thirteen of these airings, thirteen episodes of the seventh series were recomposed by Robert Hartshorne for these airings. Additionally, the UK version of Rheneas and the Roller Coaster with the new music was released on Bumper Party Collection! in May 2005.

This continued in late 2005 with the ninth series, but that time, six episodes from the sixth series were used for the airings, thus six episodes from the seventh series were not, one of which was Rheneas and the Roller Coaster. However, they have all been released on home video in the US. The other five episodes are The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop, Bad Day at Castle Loch, Snow Engine, The Runaway Elephant and The Grand Opening and they are the only episodes of the series to not have a known UK version with the new music.

Conversely, there are only seven episodes of the series known to have a US version with the original music. On the 2004 US VHS/DVD New Friends for Thomas, the episodes Gordon and Spencer, Emily's New Coaches, The Spotless Record and Peace and Quiet are re-narrated by Michael Angelis for American audiences and they retain the original music. On another 2004 US VHS/DVD, Thomas and the Jet Engine, the episodes Harold and the Flying Horse, Bulgy Rides Again and Salty's Stormy Tale are narrated by Michael Brandon as usual yet still retain their original compositions by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell.

This series also uses more stock footage than any other series to date, possibly due to the fact that it was filmed alongside Jack and the Sodor Construction Company.

Episodes

  1. Emily's New Coaches
  2. Percy Gets it Right
  3. Bill, Ben and Fergus
  4. The Old Bridge
  5. Edward's Brass Band
  6. What's the Matter with Henry?
  7. James and the Queen of Sodor
  8. The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop
  9. The Spotless Record
  10. Toby's Windmill
  11. Bad Day at Castle Loch
  12. Rheneas and the Roller Coaster
  13. Salty's Stormy Tale
  14. Snow Engine
  15. Something Fishy
  16. The Runaway Elephant
  17. Peace and Quiet
  18. Fergus Breaks the Rules
  19. Bulgy Rides Again
  20. Harold and the Flying Horse
  21. The Grand Opening
  22. Best Dressed Engine
  23. Gordon and Spencer
  24. Not So Hasty Puddings
  25. Trusty Rusty
  26. Three Cheers for Thomas

Songs

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Oliver
  • Bill and Ben
  • Harvey
  • Diesel
  • Mavis
  • 'Arry and Bert
  • Salty
  • Skarloey
  • Rheneas
  • Peter Sam
  • Duncan
  • Rusty
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Toad
  • Bertie
  • Bulgy
  • Elizabeth
  • Harold
  • Cranky
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Lady Hatt
  • Refreshment Lady
  • The Tailor
  • Tiger Moth's Pilot
  • Harold's Pilots
  • The Lighthouse Keeper
  • The Fisherman
  • The Dockyard Manager
  • The Captain
  • The Tea Room Station Stationmaster
  • The Wellsworth Stationmaster
  • The Signalman
  • Stephen Hatt (not named)
  • The Storyteller (not named)
  • One Member of the Railway Board (not named)
  • Terence (does not speak)
  • Trevor (does not speak)
  • Jem Cole (does not speak)
  • The Vicar of Wellsworth (does not speak)
  • The Coaling Plant Manager (does not speak)
  • Some Workmen (do not speak)
  • Big Mickey (not named; does not speak)
  • Farmer Trotter (not named; does not speak)
  • Henrietta (cameo)
  • George (cameo)
  • Butch (cameo)
  • Tiger Moth (cameo)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
  • Farmer Finney (cameo)
  • Nancy (cameo)
  • Tom Tipper (cameo)
  • Cyril the Fogman (cameo)
  • Jenny Packard (cameo)
  • Farmer McColl (cameo)
  • The Special Visitor (cameo)
  • One of the Stone-Dropping Boys (cameo)
  • The Butler (cameo)
  • The Fire Brigade (cameo)
  • The Smelter's Yard Manager (cameo)
  • Headmaster Hastings (cameo)
  • Three Members of the Railway Board (cameo)
  • Stepney (stock footage appearance; does not speak)
  • Duke (stock footage cameo)
  • The Crovan's Gate Policeman (stock footage cameo)
  • The Dryaw Policeman (stock footage cameo)
  • Daisy (music video cameo)
  • BoCo (music video cameo)
  • Class 40 (music video cameo)
  • S.C. Ruffey (music video cameo)
  • Bulstrode (music video cameo)
  • The Elsbridge Cricket Club (music video cameo)
  • Lorry 2 (scrap model cameo)

Characters Introduced

  • Emily
  • Fergus
  • Arthur
  • Murdoch
  • Spencer
  • Sodor Brass Band
  • Lord Callan
  • The Teacher
  • Dusty Miller (not named)
  • Farmer Collett (not named; does not speak)
  • The Duke and Duchess of Boxford (do not speak)
  • The Mayor of Sodor (mentioned)

Trivia

  • This was the final series of many things:
    • David Mitton's final series as director.
    • Phil Fehrle's last series as producer.
    • Peter Urie's last series as executive producer.
    • The final series to have Robin Kingsland, Brian Trueman and Jenny McDade write episodes for the series to date.
    • The final series to include music composed by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell and thus the final series to use the original opening credits and theme.
    • The final series produced by Gullane Entertainment.
    • The final series dubbed by The Maidstone Studios.
    • The final series dubbed by Mike Erander.
    • The final series to have Britt Allcroft involved in production, as well as the only series to have her as script consultant before moving to America.
    • The final series produced with any of the above mentioned people's involvement.
    • The final series to use 35mm film.
    • The final series in 4:3 fullscreen in Japan (as well as the last series to be released on Japanese video tapes).
    • The final series to use music composed with Proteus 2, Proteus 1, Proteus 2000, Proteus 3 and Virtuoso 2000.
    • The final series in Japan where episodes ended with a nameboard sequence of the characters featured.
    • The final series to feature Terence until the twenty-first series.
    • The final series to feature Donald and Douglas until the eleventh series.
    • The final series to feature Duck, Stepney and Oliver until the twelfth series.
    • The final series until the twelfth series to feature Toad with a face.
    • The final series to feature Duke.
    • The last series in which Robyn Charteris wrote episodes for the series until the thirteenth series.
    • The final series not dubbed in Greek and Portuguese.
    • The final series to feature Thomas' unused aghast face mask from Series 3.
    • A spin-off series called Jack and the Sodor Construction Company filmed in 2003.
  • This was also the first series of several things:
    • Michael Brandon's first series as primary US narrator.
    • Jocelyn Stevenson's first series as executive producer.
    • The first series to use the Thomas & Friends logo in the opening titles.
    • The first series where Edward, Toby, Duck, and Cranky only speak in one episode each.
    • The first series not dubbed in Norwegian or Slovenian.
    • The first series filmed under HiT Entertainment.
    • The first series not fully released on VHS in any country.
    • The first series where Thomas is given a new wincing face mask since the original made its last appearance in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • This marks the only series for several things:
    • The only series to have Jan Page, George Tarry and Polly Churchill as episode writers.
    • Jan Page's only series as script editor.
    • The only series produced with the above mentioned people's involvement.
    • The only series to have all of its episodes recomposed with new, different soundtracks, which was done by Robert Hartshorne. They also use the eighth series intro with Engine Roll Call as the theme. In the sixth series, this only happened with six episodes.
    • The only series to have Lee Pressman write episodes for the series until the seventeenth series.
    • The only model series made in the 2000's that does not have Abi Grant involved.
  • This series was never shown in Norway, Spain, Germany or Slovenia.
  • The CiTV broadcasts of this series saw the return of two episodes being compiled into one ten-minute block. The only difference is that the opening titles were shown again at the end of the first episode. At the same time, CiTV also compiled the previous episodes from the sixth series into ten-minute blocks.
  • This series was produced in association with Nickelodeon UK, as indicated by the endboard seen on Nick Jr. airings of the episodes.
  • The series was later aired from 5th January-16th February 2004 when it was rebroadcast on CiTV.
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