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Series 13

TRIVIA COMPILED BY
R Healy

Quote Of The Series

How does the day find you, Sir?”

 

“The day finds me with much too much to do, Hiro!”

 
HIRO & THE FAT CONTROLLER
Hiro Helps Out

A Bit About Series 13

The era of the models had ended in 2008, and for reasons of economy, Thomas and Friends relaunched in stunning new CGI animation provided by Nitrogen Studios of Canada in 2009.  Nitrogen had previously provided the CGI elements used in Series 12, and were now tasked with the opportunity to recreate the Island of Sodor in a completely new way.

 

This was the second new beginning that Thomas had undergone while under HIT Entertainment ownership – the previous one had seen a cast restructure, new theme music, film format and running time.  Similarly, Series 13 brought about a cast restructure again with a limited number of characters and locations being recreated in CGI for the first new series, and extended the running length from seven minutes to nearer nine.  Not only this – but for the first time, voice actors for both the British and United States territories were brought in to accompany Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon.

 

The series also takes steps toward following continuity again – acknowledging the events of Hero of the Rails throughout at different instances, and by bringing Hiro back to Sodor again toward the end of the series.

 

However, while the animation was appealing and true to the model format, the storylines were not felt to be as strong as they had been previously in Series 12 or before.  This could well be attributed to the number of new writers in Sharon Miller’s writing team and the nature of the changeover. 

 

The series is also notable for being the first not to have specially shot footage for the Music Videos, this time with new material created by Robert Hartshorne as opposed to Ed Welch.  Again, this could be owed to time constraints placed upon Nitrogen Studios to produce Series 13 in good time whilst also preparing the models and CGI sets.

Characters Introduced In Series 13

STEAM ENGINES

Charlie the ‘Fun’ Engine

Hiro the ‘Master of the Railway’

Victor the Steamworks Engine

 
DIESEL ENGINES
N/A
 
NON-LOCOMOTIVE CHARACTERS
Kevin the Crane

Songs Of The Series

Roll Along
 
Thomas You're The Leader (Re-Edit)

Voice Cast

STORYTELLERS

Michael Angelis (UK)

Michael Brandon (USA)

 
CHARACTER VOICES (UK)

BEN SMALL

TERESA GALLAGHER

KEITH WICKHAM

MATT WILKINSON

 

CHARACTER VOICES (USA)

MARTIN SHERMAN

KERRY SHALE

WILLIAM HOPE

JULES DE JONGH

GLENN WRAGE

DAVID BEDELLA

 

CHARACTER VOICES (UK & USA)

TOGO IGAWA

KERRY SHALE

JULES DE JONGH

Key Production Team

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Christopher Skala
Marion Edwards
 
PRODUCER
Nicole Stinn
 
CREATIVE PRODUCER
Sharon Miller
 
MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS & SONGS
Robert Hartshorne

DIRECTOR
Greg Tiernan

In 2014, we ran a poll on Series 13 to determine what the best episodes of the Series were as well as what else fans enjoyed about it.  Best characters, episodes, and aspects of production are included and broken down in our poll results blog!  Whilst Hero of the Rails ushered in the new era of CGI animation, Series 13 became the first fully animated series of Thomas & Friends – click the link to see what SiFansite visitors thought of it.

Related Videos

Series 13 YouTube Playlist

Teaser clips from: Creaky Cranky, Slippy Sodor, Thomas & The Pigs, Splish Splash Splosh, Snow Tracks, Double Trouble and Tickled Pink

Related Links

Thomas & Friends On Demand

 

Series 13 Episode Guide

HEAD WRITER
Sharon Miller
 
SCRIPT EXECUTIVE
Sam Barlow

13.1 - Creaky Cranky

Written by Sharon Miller

The Duke and Duchess of Boxford are holding a special party at the Summer House for the children’s spring holiday.  Thomas, James and Henry are making deliveries to the party, and Cranky is loading the flatbed trucks for them.  When Cranky lowers his load, Thomas laughs at him and calls him ‘Creaky Cranky’ – Cranky isn’t pleased, so retorts to Thomas by calling him ‘Tiny Thomas’, and suggests that he can’t pull heavy loads.

Thomas then challenges Cranky to a contest of strength.  So he collects Henry’s flatbed of straw and James’s flatbed of wood – both of which Cranky lifts with ease.  Then, Thomas suggests something a little heavier to lift – himself!  Cranky accepts the challenge and lifts Thomas – but doesn’t reckon with Thomas’s weight.  Cranky’s cables snap and he’s left looking crooked, with Thomas dangling in mid air!  The Fat Controller finds them both in their awkward position and scolds them.

Thomas is lowered back to the rails, but he’s now late for the party delivery.  Luckily, Spencer is there, so he takes the load instead, while Thomas goes off to collect parts to mend Cranky.

Cranky is impressed with the heavy load that Thomas brings to the Docks, and tells Thomas he’s not ‘Tiny Thomas’ at all... and Thomas agrees that he’s no longer ‘Creaky Cranky’ either!

13.2 - The Lion Of Sodor

Written by Mark Robertson

Thomas is given the job of delivering a crate containing The Lion Of Sodor to Knapford Station. 

Thomas is determined to do a good job and look after the lion, but what he doesn’t realise is that the Lion of Sodor is actually a statue.  So when Thomas meets Henry, Edward and Toby – he asks them to provide some fish, treacle and straw for the Lion to make him feel comfortable.  It’s only when Thomas reveals to them that it’s actually The Lion of Sodor that the three engines realise their mistake and try to tell Thomas – but before they can, he’s already shot off again. 

By the time Thomas reaches Knapford, the Lion of Sodor statue is in a dreadful mess, covered in straw, fish and treacle and in need of a good clean.  Henry and the Fat Controller explain the situation to Thomas – who didn’t realise it wasn’t a real lion inside the crate.  Thomas then takes it upon himself to get the Lion ready again for the Mayor’s arrival at tea-time.  After listening to Henry, he takes it for a washdown; after listening to Edward, it’s polished bright again at the Steamworks – and thanks to Toby, Thomas takes the quickest route back to Knapford to met the Mayor and the Fat Controller.

13.3 - Tickled Pink

Written by Alan Plenderleith

James is sent for a repaint at the Steamworks.  However halfway through it, the Fat Controller needs him to pick up his Granddaughter for her birthday party as all the other engines are busy.  This makes James feel uncomfortable as he’s wearing a bright pink undercoat, and he knows that the other engines will tease him.  After he meets Emily at a junction, James tries to reach Maithwaite without being laughed at again.  He tries hiding behind trucks at the shunting yards to avoid Diesel, and behind long branches to avoid Toby – but it’s not long before he’s caught out by Gordon, Thomas and Percy when he’s hiding in a tunnel... and running late to pick up the Fat Controller’s granddaughter.  Determined to do a good job, James ventures over to Maithwaite and prepares to have the children laugh at him too – but he soon finds he’s made the little girls’ day as James is painted in their favourite colour!  And for James – that makes everything all the more worthwhile...!

13.4 - Double Trouble

Written by Sharon Miller

Thomas is due to take the Fat Controller and Lady Hatt to the Fat Controller’s birthday party – but when he arrives at Maithwaite station, he’s surprised to find that the Fat Controller has grown a moustache seemingly overnight, and somehow, developed some new personality traits.  Thomas wants to ask what’s going on, but doesn’t want to look silly, so doesn’t bother.  On the way to the party they stop at the Whispering Woods where Edward is waiting with the children.  The Fat Controller climbs down to play with them and is gone for a very long time, making Thomas and Edward concerned about time-keeping for the party.  In spite of their protests, the Fat Controller is unbothered.  When they stop at a junction, the Fat Controller then leaves to visit the Signal Box, and while up there, messes with the levers to send Gordon down a Branch Line away from the party venue!  Thomas then heads back to Maithwaite, where the Station Master informs him that the Fat Controller and Lady Hatt have had to go to the party in Bertie the Bus.  Confused, he plucks up courage and asks the Fat Controller what is going on – only to discover it’s not the Fat Controller at all, it’s his brother, Loham Hatt!  They soon catch up with the real Fat Controller and Lady Hatt when they discover Bertie has broken down, and deliver all three of them to the party just in time.  Thomas then sets about fixing all the confusion and delay that Loham Hatt has caused, and gets Gordon and Edward back on track again and on their way with the children and party guests to the main venue.

13.5 - Slippy Sodor

Written by Mark Robertson 

Thomas has a cracked funnel – so he has to get a new one from the Steamworks.  After several attempts to find the right one, Victor and Kevin have to settle for a brightly coloured funny funnel, which Thomas will have to wear until the old one is mended.  Thomas is asked to take the special Bubble Liquid from Brendam Docks to Knapford Station for Mr Bubbles the Clown, who is performing a show there.  Thomas is asked to puff slowly and carefully with the load to make sure that none of it spills.  However, the other engines laugh at Thomas’s funny funnel, and he’s keen to get away from them as quickly as he can.  Thomas ends up going too quickly and spills the bubble liquid all over the road – causing the Fat Controller to crash his car and end up in a terrible mess.  By the time Thomas reaches Knapford, the bubble liquid is gone and the Fat Controller and Mr Bubbles are most upset.  Thomas promises to make it up to them and goes back to Brendam to pick up more bubble liquid – but this time, he ignores the other engines when they laugh at his ‘funny funnel’, and when he sees that the ‘funny funnel’ makes the children laugh and feel happy – it makes Thomas happy too.  As a reward for being really useful, Thomas is invited to stay at Mr Bubbles’ show.

13.6 - Early Bird

Written by David Richard Fox

Percy is ill and Thomas has to deliver the mail for him in the morning.  However, Thomas doesn’t know how Percy does it and doesn’t feel he needs to ask.  As a result on his first morning his whistling wakes up Mavis at the Quarry, Cranky at the Docks and Victor and Kevin at the Steamworks.  By the end of his shift, Thomas notices that Mavis and Cranky have made silly mistakes – and he soon finds out why when the Fat Controller scolds him for whistling loudly in the early morning while everyone is still asleep.  Thomas then decides to ask Percy what to do, and the following morning, Thomas does the job perfectly – and at the end of his run, Thomas has fallen fast asleep at the Steamworks!

13.7 - Playtime

Written by Sharon Miller

Thomas is supposed to take Alicia Botti to a special concert at the Town Hall.  On the way, Percy tells him about Charlie the new engine – who is said to be the most fun engine ever... even more fun than Thomas.  When Thomas meets Charlie, he is determined not to lose face and accompanies Charlie on his jobs instead of taking Alicia Botti to the concert.  Every time Thomas tries to go, Charlie persuades him to carry on having fun, until Thomas ends up leaving Annie and Clarabel behind when their couplings break free.  It’s a mad dash for Thomas to find them again, and even though Charlie wants to turn it into a game to decide the most fun engine ever, Thomas isn’t playing.  Like a really useful engine, Thomas finds Annie, Clarabel and Alicia Botti, and gets them to the concert in good time.

13.8 - Thomas and The Pigs

Written by Allan Plenderleith

Thomas loves visiting Farmer Trotter’s pig farm.  And when one of Farmer Trotter’s pigs is due to have piglets, he asks Thomas to collect some soft straw from Farmer McColl for them to lie on.  On his way to collect some, Thomas wonders what else the piglets might like – and asks Percy, James and the children to give him some milk, apples and chestnuts to take to them.  But when he arrives at Farmer McColl’s, Thomas has overloaded the flatbed and there’s no room for the straw!

Neither Farmer McColl nor Farmer Trotter are happy and ask Thomas to unload the flatbed and fetch the straw quickly.  Thomas arrives back just in time with the soft straw, and sees what a difference it is making to the newborn piglets.  Farmer Trotter is so pleased that he even names one of the piglets after Thomas.

13.9 - Time For A Story

Written by Miranda Larson

A new library is due to open at the Town Hall, and Thomas is asked to take the new books there for the children.  When Thomas arrives at Maithwaite Station, he’s very keen to get to get away with the books for the storytelling.  He leaves without letting the Station Master cover the books up, and determinedly hurries to the Town Hall.  Thomas isn’t keen to stop for anything – even signals at the junction, so he decides to go down the Branch Line route instead, even though it’s under repair and very bumpy!

The bumps in the track and Thomas’s speed cause the trucks to fly in the air and land in Farmer McColl’s field, scattering the books everywhere!  Thomas feels ashamed – then he sees how nice the books look in the afternoon sunshine and wishes the children could see them...

This gives Thomas a splendid idea and he hurries off to collect them in Annie and Clarabel.  Thomas tells the children and their teacher that they’re off for a ‘Special Picnic Storytime’ in the sunshine.

13.10 - Percy's Parcel

Written by Robyn Chateris

Mavis sees how disappointed Percy is when the Fat Controller doesn’t give him a special.  She does her best to reassure him, and tells him that when the Fat Controller does give him one, he’s to tell her all about it.  Much to Percy’s surprise, the Fat Controller sends him to collect a special parcel from the Docks to be taken to Knapford in time for his mother’s Birthday Party.  Percy is very excited and keen to show Mavis – so he hurries off straight to the Quarry.  But Mavis is busy preparing trucks with Rocky... who drops one of his slate slabs by accident and causes a big dust-up, which covers the parcel!

Percy decides to go and get himself and the parcel clean at the Washdown.  But the soapy water only causes the parcel to sag!  He then takes it to the Steamworks to be dried, but that does no good either.  Percy feels very ashamed – he’s let the Fat Controller and his mother down.  Then he overhears Mavis and Edward chatting about new crates that Victor has had delivered to the Steamworks, and it gives him an idea.  Percy asks Victor if he can have one to carry Dowager Hatt’s present to Knapford in time for the party.  Percy arrives just in time, and the crate is opened to reveal a beautiful new picture of Dowager Hatt.  Percy is pleased, and Mavis is very proud of him for getting the job done.

13.11 - Toby's New Whistle

Written by Louise Kramskoy

Toby’s bell isn’t working, and Victor has no spare bells at the Steamworks.  Instead, Toby has to make use of a 3-chime steam whistle.  James tells him is very loud and booming, which Toby is worried about using the whistle, he doesn’t like loud noises.  This makes work very difficult when Toby is sent to collect Lady Hatt from Knapford and some stray cows are blocking the line – Toby can’t shift them.  He tries reversing to look for help, but there’s nothing forthcoming, so he has to go back and shift them himself.

Then there’s trouble – Thomas is heading down the line unaware of the problems ahead.  Toby summons the courage to blast the whistle to warn him in time – and impresses Emily and Percy with the noise it makes!  Thomas is grateful, and once the two engines clear the line, they head for Knapford together to collect Lady Hatt... only to find the Fat Controller waiting for them and looking very cross because Toby is late and Gordon has had to take Lady Hatt instead.  But when a fallen tree is blocking Gordon’s path – Toby has to use the steam whistle again to warn him... and saves him and Lady Hatt from collision.

After hearing how brave Toby was, Victor is keen to let him keep the old steam whistle – but Toby insists he’s far happier with his old bell again!

13.12 - A Blooming Mess 

Written by Miranda Larson

Knapford station is being decorated, and Emily is thrilled to be bringing flowers from Maithwaite.  But on the way there from Tidmouth, she calls to Mavis on the bridge and receives no reply.  Emily assumes that Mavis is sad and decides to decorate the Quarry with flowers to make Mavis happy again.

But she leaves the trucks of flowers in such awkward places that Edward and Thomas can’t help running into them and causing a terrible mess.  Mavis arrives back to find the flowers, engines and trucks in disarray and is most annoyed.  Emily explains that she was concerned for Mavis, but Mavis insists that she was just busy thinking about her day’s work.  Emily now realises that she should have asked Mavis – and when she does, she finds that Mavis wants a tidy quarry with useful engines.

Emily sets about putting everything right, and then heads to Knapford to help with the decorating.  And when Mavis sees the beautiful flowers where they should be, Emily can see how happy they’ve made her friend.

13.13 - Thomas & The Runaway Kite

Written by Louise Kramskoy

The Sodor Kite Festival is coming, and Thomas is collecting the winner’s cup to take to Knapford.  On the way, he and Charlie see the Fat Controller’s grandchildren playing with their kite on Gordon’s Hill – but a big gust of wind blows it up and away from them.  Thomas promises to get it back for them and gives chase – but turns down help from Charlie, Edward, Emily and Percy as he tries to get it back.

But Thomas burns all of his coal in the attempt and is left stranded until Charlie comes along.  This time, Thomas knows he needs help and asks Charlie to look for the kite.  After getting some fresh coal from Charlie, Thomas heads on to Knapford with the cup – and on the way meets Emily, Percy and Edward, who he asks to help too.  Together, all five engines soon track the kite down and get it back to the children in time for the Kite Festival.

13.14 - Steamy Sodor

Written by Sharon Miller 

One of the narrow gauge engines is ill, so Victor has to go to the Transfer Yards to see him.  The Fat Controller leaves Thomas in charge of the Sodor Steamworks in his absence.  Victor tells Thomas to listen to the problems of each engine and if he needs help – ask Kevin the Crane.

But when the engines arrive at the Steamworks, Thomas gets things in a terrible muddle.  Spencer needs new paint – but Thomas insists upon a mechanical check; Henry needs cleaned out – Thomas suggests special coal and when James’ funnel is stuffed with twigs and straw, Thomas suggests a new one.  The situation puts poor Kevin in a spin and he runs aimlessly around the Steamworks spilling coal, hitting a button to hoist Spencer and bashes into James, who is so cross that he blows the twigs and straw out of his funnel and covers the Steamworks... and Victor in soot!

Thomas realises he hasn’t listened and decides to put everything right with Victor’s help.  Together, they evaluate each problem and get the engines the help they need – new paint for Spencer, a firebox clean for Henry and a good polish and clean for James.

13.15 - Splish, Splash, Splosh!

Written by Sharon Miller

It’s a wet day on the Island of Sodor, and Thomas and Rosie have done a hard day’s work in the shunting yards.  As they are heading back to Tidmouth sheds to rest, they have splendid fun running through muddy puddles and create a game called ‘Splish, Splash, Splosh!

While they’re playing, the Fat Controller stops them and asks Thomas to collect Alicia Botti from Dryaw Station once he’s had a washdown.  However, on the way to the Washdown, Thomas finds more and more puddles to play in – and splashes Charlie, James and Emily, thinking they’d like his new game.  While Charlie appreciates being part of the fun – James and Emily end up having their special loads of flour and strawberries ruined on the way to the bakery!

Thomas finally comes a cropper when he splashes through a puddle that soaks the Fat Controller and Miss Botti – and ends up putting his fire out!  In the end, Thomas decides to put everything right with Rosie’s help.  He asks her to take the Fat Controller and Miss Botti to the concert, and takes over James and Emily’s delivery of cakes from the bakery.  After the day’s events, Thomas is a little more careful when he’s playing ‘Splish, Splash, Splosh!’ with Rosie...!

13.16 - The Biggest Present Of All

Written by Sharon Miller

The Master of the Railway, Hiro, has returned for the summer and the Fat Controller is holding a special party to celebrate, and he asks Thomas to tell all the engines.  But Thomas becomes sidetracked and begins to wonder what he could get Hiro as a special present to welcome him back.  He considers a barn, Sodor slate and a bell from the Steamworks, but none seem right.  But while he’s puffing around the Island telling everyone that Hiro is back, he forgets to tell them about the party!

When he sees Hiro at Knapford on his own, Thomas hurries away to put things right and tells Emily, James, Henry, Mavis, Toby, Victor and Kevin all about the party. 

Thomas feels sad that he hasn’t found a present for Hiro, but the big engine insists that he has received the greatest present of all... having his friends with him to welcome him back to Sodor again at such a wonderful party.

13.17 - Snow Tracks

Written by Alan Hescott

Thick blankets of snow have covered the Island of Sodor – and Gordon is asked to shift trucks of coal to Brendam Docks.  The Fat Controller asks Gordon to take the long way around to avoid accidents in the difficult weather, but Gordon believes he is superior by far and decides not to heed the Fat Controller’s advice.

Despite encountering moments of wheel-slip on steep hills, Gordon ploughs on.  Even running into dirty slate trucks does not put him off – but when his snowplough ends up creating a giant snowball on Gordon’s Hill, which chases both him and Thomas back down the hill – he realises how silly he’s been.  The snowball derails Thomas and Gordon has to fetch Rocky to help free him.  To show he’s sorry, Gordon helps Thomas finish delivering his firewood to the stations, and when they return home that night Gordon tells his friends that “No engine is special, but all engines are best!

13.18 - Henry's Good Deeds

Written by Alan Hescott

A special bird called the ‘Sodor Warbler’ has returned to the Island, and Henry is charged with the responsibility of taking a special nesting pole to Bluff’s Cove, in the hope that the bird will nest on the Island again.

Crowds of bird-watchers have arrived and Thomas is taking them on a special tour.  When Henry sees Thomas letting Farmer McColl cross with his cows, he’s encouraged to see Farmer McColl complimenting Thomas for helping him – and calling it a good deed.  Henry decides he’d like to do good deeds too.  So when he meets Farmer Trotter’s pigs at a crossing, he lets them cross over the line and into a muddy pool – which upsets Farmer Trotter who wanted clean pigs to go to market with.  Worse still, when Henry reverses to let the pigs pass, he frightens them and they upset some apple crates and block the line for Thomas and the bird-watchers.

To save time, Henry offers to take them to find the Sodor Warbler, but when they reach the field where the bird has been sighted – Henry blasts his whistle and frightens the bird away.  Henry feels bad, he’s late for delivering the nesting pole, and he’s not done any good deeds.  But he makes up for it when he gives a small bird a ride to Bluff’s Cove where the bird-watchers cheer for Henry – he’s brought the Sodor Warbler!  And as the bird settles down to sleep – choosing to make Sodor its home once more, Thomas and Henry welcome their new friend home again.

13.19 - Buzzy Bees

Written by Sharon Miller

When Thomas has to take beehives to Farmer Trotter, Hiro advises him that the best route to take would be through the shady forest.  Thomas decides to go via a field filled with colourful flowers – which sends the bees into frenzy.  Thomas tries to get them to come back, but it’s no use.  So he tries using some of Farmer McColl’s flowers to lure them back to the hives – but the bees won’t go back to the hives.  Thomas tries running from the bees, but all they do is chase after him.  He leaves the truck of flowers in a siding and then hurries away.

He soon meets with Hiro, who was supposed to collect the missing flowers.  Hiro tells Thomas that Farmer Trotter is worried about his bees being late, and Thomas feels very ashamed.  He decides to go and put everything right at once – collecting both flatbeds of flowers and beehives and going through the forest, which makes the bees cold and keen to return to their hives.

Thomas drops the hives at Farmer Trotter’s and then meets with Hiro again at Farmer McColl’s farm.  While Thomas is sorry that Hiro will now be late with his delivery of flowers, he assures him that because of them, Farmer Trotter will now have the best honey on the Island.

13.20 - Hiro Helps Out

Written by Sharon Miller

Hiro notices how much of a frustrated muddle the Fat Controller is in and is keen to help.  When Edward isn’t sure where to take his passengers from Brendam Docks, Hiro advises the hills.  When Thomas isn’t sure where to take tables and benches, Hiro advises he waits until the Fat Controller isn’t as busy to ask – and tells Thomas to go to Farmer Trotter’s to unwind.  He later meets Percy who is unsure where to take ducks and wants to ask the Fat Controller also – but Hiro suggests the fenland.

The Fat Controller soon finds Hiro and is very annoyed that the engines and their loads aren’t where they should be.  Hiro now feels like ‘The Master of the Muddle’, and promises to put everything right at once.  The Fat Controller issues the engines with their right orders and sends them on their way.

But when Hiro asks what he should do, the Fat Controller tells him that he will be helpful – by helping him!