Calling All Engines!

Calling All Engines!

Calling All Engines

TRIVIA COMPILED BY
R Healy

A Little Bit About Calling All Engines

Calling All Engines! was the first Thomas and Friends Direct-To-DVD special produced by HIT Entertainment between the productions of Series 8 and 9.

Calling All Engines! was produced in 2005 as part of the brand’s 60th Anniversary, and marked the first year of the new HIT Entertainment format.  The storyline incorporated all three elements of the half-hour programme broadcast on PBS (USA) and Nick Jr (UK), with various songs and interactive interstitials working to try and develop the story and provide diversity.  Calling All Engines! is the only special feature to use the interstitials.

 

Calling All Engines! also sees the special returns of Thomas and the Magic Railroad characters, Lady and Diesel 10, the latter playing a marginal but frequent role in the storyline through his intimidation of the other characters, which played more on his reputation than actions.

 

The storyline revolves around the rivalry between the Steam engines and Diesel engines, and how nothing is being achieved while the two sides are arguing and fighting with one another.  Only when they come together and put their differences aside for the common goal of being ‘Really Useful’ can they finish the new Sodor Airport and finally build the new Tidmouth Sheds!

 

Calling All Engines! was written by Paul Larson, the Series 8 Script Editor for Thomas & Friends, with additional (Interstitial) material written by Marc Seal.

Songs Of The Special

Busy

Trying (Trying to Do Things Better)

The Dream Song (DVD Bonus Feature)

Together (Together We Made it Happen)

New Engine Roll Call

Special Info About 'Calling All Engines'

Calling All Engines! marks the first appearance of the new 7-road Tidmouth Sheds, and the new Sodor Airport.  The UK DVD featured deleted scenes from the movie, along with songs and music videos that had been cut to reduce the running time fo the feature.
 
It is the only Special to feature Interactive Interstitials throughout in conjunction with the main story feature and songs.

Storytellers

Michael Angelis (UK)
Michael Brandon (US)

Key Production Team

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jocelyn Stevenson
 
PRODUCER
Simon Spencer
 
SCRIPT EXECUTIVE
Sam Barlow
 
SCRIPT EDITORS
Paul Larson
Abi Grant
 
MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS
Robert Hartshorne
 
SONGS
Ed Welch

DIRECTOR
Steve Asquith

Reviews & Blogs

In 2014, we ran a poll on Calling All Engines to determine what fans enjoyed about it.  Best characters, moments, songs and aspects of production are included and broken down in our poll results blog!  

Related Links

Calling All Engines on Amazon

Check out the many DVDs, Books and Toys related to the Calling All Engines special!

King Of The Railway on Amazon.com

King of the Railway on Amazon.co.uk

Related Videos

Calling All Engines YouTube Playlist

Featuring trailers from the UK & USA, Deleted Scenes, Official Music Videos and Meet The Engines segments for the Calling All Engines special!

 

Thomas puffs through the countryside
Thomas puffs through the countryside

Summertime is always beautiful on the Island of Sodor, and it’s also a very busy time for the Fat Controller’s engines, who get to show visitors all the splendid sights of Sodor.  And they are especially excited when they hear of plans to build a brand new Sodor Airport.  Percy looks forward to seeing the aeroplanes, while Thomas is chuffed that they will soon carry more passengers than ever before and show them all the wonderful sights.

Percy and Thomas don't like working with Diesels
Percy and Thomas don't like working with Diesels

Construction begins almost immediately, and Thomas and Percy are kept very busy shunting trucks of bricks and timber at the building site.  The two engines are excited about seeing all the holidaymakers and aeroplanes that will soon arrive on the Island... but they’re far less enthusiastic about working with ‘Arry and Bert, who are behaving rudely at the building site – biffing Thomas and Percy with their trucks, and calling them “Stinky Steamies”.

Thomas plays a naughty trick on 'Arry and Bert
Thomas plays a naughty trick on 'Arry and Bert

Later that day, Thomas meets ‘Arry and Bert again when is collecting Timber at the yard.  The two Diesels are very smug – they have a “very important job” and are keen to rub it in Thomas’s face.  This makes Thomas cross, and he decides to get his own back – by shunting Bert’s truck hard just as the timber he is due to carry is being loaded.  Thomas laughs rudely at them and scurries off to shunt trucks with Percy at the Docks.

Diesel leaves with the bananas
Diesel leaves with the bananas

But when they’re working, Thomas is confronted by Diesel, who has heard all about what Thomas did to ‘Arry and Bert.  He warns Thomas that he also has an important job to do, and he’ll make sure that the cheeky tank engine won’t make trouble for him the way he has for ‘Arry and Bert.  Thomas has other ideas!  Instead of giving Diesel the trucks of timber and bricks he needs for the building site, he gives him trucks full of bananas instead.

Tidmouth Sheds have been knocked down...
Tidmouth Sheds have been knocked down...

The engines then go to the Smelter’s Yard to collect some steel girders.  But upon their arrival, they see the terrifying sight of Diesel 10 crushing scrap metal with his giant claw.  The two engines are scared, and decide to come back when Diesel 10 is gone.  But on their way back to the sheds they find that the Sodor Suspension Bridge hasn’t been painted, the Airport is only half-finished, and worst of all – Tidmouth Sheds has been knocked down!  Diesel tells them that the important job that he, ‘Arry and Bert had been given was building the new ones.  But because of Thomas’s tricks – they couldn’t complete the job... and the Fat Controller sternly reminds Thomas that “bananas are no good for building sheds!

The engines find different places to sleep
The engines find different places to sleep

The Steam engines are cross with the Diesels – they had ruined their home, and now they would have to find other places to sleep.  James chooses to stay at the Coaling Plant, Edward goes to the Quarry to stay with Diesel, Henry and Percy go to the Smelter’s Yard, Gordon finds himself in a ‘tent’ and a completely undignified situation, and Thomas has to stay at Knapford Sheds with Emily – who’s less than pleased to share her shed with him.

The Sodor Suspension Bridge is destroyed
The Sodor Suspension Bridge is destroyed

But in spite of feeling wracked with guilt over the jobs that haven’t been done, owing to his efforts to cause trouble for the Diesels, Thomas is confident that everything can be put right in the morning.  However, he doesn’t bank on a wild, destructive storm blowing across the Island in the night.  It rips off roof tiles, flattens fences – and destroys the Sodor Suspension Bridge with its sheer ferocity.

The engines need to work extra hard
The engines need to work extra hard

When Thomas wakes the next morning, he is shocked to see the damage that the storm has left in its wake.  The Airport building site is a complete mess, and it will take a lot of work to get things ready in time for the holidaymakers arriving.  The Fat Controller is stern with the engines and reminds them that everyone will need to work extra hard, and Tidmouth Sheds will only be finished when all the other jobs are completed first.

The Fat Controller sets all the engines to work.  But there is a great deal of disharmony among the Steam Engines and Diesels.  There is more disharmony in Emily’s shed at Knapford.  Thomas keeps her awake telling her about his day’s work when all she wants to do is go to sleep!

Diesel is jealous of Thomas's special
Diesel is jealous of Thomas's special

The next day, the Fat Controller gives Thomas the special job of delivering the new bridge section for the Sodor Suspension Bridge’s repairs, and warns Thomas that he may need help delivering it to the site of the construction.  Diesel boasts that Diesel engines wouldn’t need help – which makes Thomas all the more determined to do a good job without anyone’s help.  He pushes the heavy load all the way from the Docks, up Gordon’s Hill and on to the Suspension Bridge.

Thomas lowers the bridge section into place
Thomas lowers the bridge section into place

But a bigger challenge comes up when Thomas arrives at the bridge.  Both he and Diesel want to lower the bridge section into place, and the workmen are keener for Thomas to do the job.  Diesel is jealous – and has to watch while Thomas nervously moves the bridge section down into its new place.  And he’s even more jealous when Thomas receives a standing ovation from the workmen for doing such a good job of lowering the section successfully!  He decides the time has come for revenge...!

The engines biff and bash - and end up in a mess!
The engines biff and bash - and end up in a mess!

So when Thomas goes to collect some trucks of paint – Diesel lies in wait to strike.  He rushes forward and sends the paint pots flying into the air – and spill their contents all over Thomas.  Diesel laughs and scurries away – but Thomas is furious.  This sparks a chain reaction of steam engines and Diesel engines biffing one another into dirty or awkward places – causing a terrible mess and a lot more delays for the completion of jobs.  The Fat Controller is most disappointed with all of them.  The bridge hasn’t been painted and they will not be able to open the Airport – meaning no holidaymakers or aeroplanes will be able to come to Sodor that year.  The engines are all disappointed at the situation.

Edward the Scarecrow!
Edward the Scarecrow!

That night, they all have worrying nightmares about what will happen to them.  James dreams he’ll end up as a coconut shy, Gordon dreams he’ll end up as part of a children’s playground, Edward dreams he’ll be a scarecrow for Farmer McColl, and Percy dreams that he’ll end up working as a rollercoaster at the Fun Fair!  But Thomas’s dream is the one that proves to be the most important to saving everything.

Lady and Rusty shunt trucks
Lady and Rusty shunt trucks

He puffs through the hills of Sodor in a misty, magical place.  There, he sees Lady, a very special engine who worked high in the mountains, shunting trucks with Rusty the Diesel engine.  Lady has a very special message for Thomas:  “We always finish our jobs when we work together...” – something that Thomas and the other engines had forgotten all about in the midst of their feud with the Diesels.

Thomas and Mavis discuss a plan!
Thomas and Mavis discuss a plan!

Thomas knows exactly what to do – and more importantly, who to speak to about it.  He hurries off to speak to the friendliest Diesel he knows, Mavis the Quarry Diesel.  He soon finds Mavis at the Washdown and explains his plan to her, he wants to rally all the Steam engines and Diesel engines together for a special meeting to discuss the situation, and possibly see if they can get everything back on track again.

The Engines meet at the Coaling Plant
The Engines meet at the Coaling Plant

But by the time Thomas and Mavis have both spread the word to the other engines, it’s getting late and Thomas is far from home.  He stops for a night in a siding, and needs to make a mad dash for the Coaling Plant where the engines are all assembled waiting for him.  Tensions begin to mount, until Thomas hurries in to the yard to diffuse the situation before it becomes too heated.  He encourages all the engines, both Steam and Diesel, to work together toward a common goal of being ‘Really Useful’ and bringing lots of holidaymakers to Sodor for the Summer.  They can’t if everyone is bickering and arguing.

Daisy and Toby set to work
Daisy and Toby set to work

The Fat Controller arrives with Harold to find out why the engines are all at the Coaling Plant.  Thomas explains about the meeting and that the engines will all be working together to finish the Airport on time.  Mavis helps Percy move trucks, ‘Arry and Bert help Gordon over the hill and Daisy the Diesel Rail-Car helps Toby to deliver workmen to each of the important sites.

With hard work and co-operation, the Airport is finally finished and the first aeroplane is on its way.  But as Thomas tries to complete the last job he knocks over a water tower – damaging the runway and blocking the track!  The engines are very cross; they feel like they’ve worked hard for nothing.

The tower collapses onto the runway!
The tower collapses onto the runway!

Luckily, the runway is quickly given new tarmac, but they still need George to help finish the job.  But he is too far away and too slow to make it there on his own.  The engines need someone who can clear the line – and Harvey is also too slow to make it in time for the aeroplane landing.  Then, Thomas has a bright idea – he knows one engine who could help save the day and put everything right... it’s just a matter of trying to persuade him!

Thomas persuades Diesel 10 to help
Thomas persuades Diesel 10 to help

Thomas plans to ask Diesel 10 if he can help clear the track.  And although he is scared, Thomas plucks up courage and ventures over to find him.  When Thomas finally finds him clearing branches at the foot of the hill, Diesel 10 makes it clear that he is reluctant to help a steam engine.  But Thomas works hard to persuade him, and explains the situation.  Finally he wins Diesel 10 over by promising that he’ll be the most useful engine of all.

The first aeroplane lands on Sodor!
The first aeroplane lands on Sodor!

The engines are most surprised to see Thomas puff back with Diesel 10.  As they watch Thomas and Diesel 10 set to work clearing the track, the other engines feel obliged to help too and begin shunting trucks away.  With everyone working together, the tracks are finally cleared and Thomas is able to hurry off and collect George the Steamroller in order to mend the runway.  George mends the runway in time, and the aeroplane is able to land safely.  With everything in place – the engines could finally take passengers to and from the Airport.

The NewTidmouth Sheds!
The NewTidmouth Sheds!

With everything settled between the Steam and Diesel engines, everything returns to normal.  But there is still one more surprise to come – Tidmouth Sheds is finally standing completely rebuilt and looking splendid.  The engines are thrilled to be welcomed home again, but their new home has one special new feature – a seventh space built especially for Emily to become a Tidmouth Shed resident... and she couldn’t be happier to join the others living there!

The New Tidmouth Sheds