Thomas and Friends

British children's television series

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (otherwise referred to as Thomas & 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 three heritage railways there. One of them is a standard-gauge railway run by Sir Topham Hatt known as the North Western Railway. The other two are different sizes. Thomas runs on the North Western Railway.

Thomas and Friends
GenreChildren's television series
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Based onThe Railway Series
Developed byBritt Allcroft
Directed by
  • David Mitton (Series 1–7)
  • Steve Asquith (Series 8–12)
  • Greg Tiernan (Series 13–16)
  • David Baas (Series 17)
  • Don Spencer (Series 18)
  • Dianna Basso (Series 19–24)
Voices ofSee List of Thomas & Friends voice actors
Narrated by
Opening theme
  • Thomas' Theme (instrumental) (1984–2003)
  • Engine Roll Call (2004–2017)
  • Big World! Big Adventures! (2018–2021)
Ending theme
  • Thomas' Theme (reprise (instrumental)) (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
No. of series24
No. of episodes584 + 14 movies and 6 double-length specials (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • 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 location(s)
Running time
  • 4 minutes, 30 seconds (Series 1–7)
  • 10 minutes[a] (Series 8–12)
  • 11 minutes[b] (Series 13–24)
Production company(s)
DistributorMattel Television
Original network
Picture format
Audio format
  • Mono (1984–1995)
  • Stereo (1998–2002)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 (2003–2021)
Original release4 September 1984 (1984-09-04) –
present (present)
Followed by
Related shows
Other websites


The show is mainly about the machines and people who populate the fictional Island of Sodor. Since 2004, the show has had eight main characters:



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)



  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. Series 7 was aired on Nick Jr. the following year
  4. These series were later broadcast on TV through Cartoon Network, but they were first released to VHS in the United Kingdom.
  5. 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 Thur 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. "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.

Other websitesEdit