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Series 15

TRIVIA COMPILED BY
R Healy

Quote Of The Series

You’re not on fire?

 

Flynn
Fiery Flynn

A Bit About Series 15

Series 15 came as a surprise to many when it aired in the Spring of 2011, around six months following the broadcast of Series 14 in the Autumn of 2010, making it the shortest period between two series in Thomas history.  However, from the content of the episodes, it was not welcomed warmly by fans at all, who were critical of how poorly the episodes had been written – sticking rigidly to the formulaic format, and relying heavily on catchphrases and rhymes to see the stories through.  This series saw the majority of writing done by Head Writer, Sharon Miller, who penned all but five episodes.

 

However, it wasn’t just the writing that suffered with this series – the continuity was scuppered as well.  Series 15 was supposed to follow on from the 2011 special, Day of the Diesels, released in September.  Characters introduced in the special such as Belle, Flynn, Dart and Den (as well as non-speaking, un-named background characters, Norman and Paxton) feature in some episodes toward the end of the series, and were seen to make cameo appearances within episodes – however, were something of a mystery to viewers who weren’t keeping up to date with information regarding the new special or series.

 

Series 15 saw no new characters introduced within the series itself, relying on those from Day of the Diesels, and expanding upon the character of Butch the Breakdown Lorry – introduced in Series 5, but never given a sizeable role within the series until now.  It also marked the debut of a new voice actor for the US and UK territories, Rupert Degas, who plays the roles of Bertie, Dart, Butch and Flynn.

 

Series 15 was covered daily as it aired by Simon Martin, who compiled an excellent series of Blogs for the SiF Blog throughout March of 2011, and topped it off with a full overview when the entire series had aired.  Opinion polls have also been held by Sodor Island Fansite and Roll Along Blog to gauge fans’ reaction to the performance of the series, where it stood with comparison to other editions of the TV Series, and if fans would buy DVDs featuring Series 15 episodes and why.  All of these have been linked to in our Related Links section, and we would encourage you to take a look.

Characters Introduced In Series 15

STEAM ENGINES

Belle The Big Blue Tank Engine
 
DIESEL ENGINES
Den The Dieselworks Manager
Dart The Dieselworks Assistant
 
NON-LOCOMOTIVE CHARACTERS
Flynn the Fire Engine

Songs Of The Series

Hear The Engines Coming

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

RUPERT DEGAS

Key Production Team

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Christopher Skala (Episodes 1 to 10 only)
Marion Edwards
 
PRODUCER
Nicole Stinn
 
LINE PRODUCERS
Denise Green
Ian McCue
 
CREATIVE PRODUCER
Jo Jordan
 
MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS & SONGS
Robert Hartshorne

VOICE DIRECTOR
Sharon Miller

DIRECTOR
Greg Tiernan

Related Videos

Series 15 YouTube Playlist

Teaser clips from: Toby & Bash (US), James To The Rescue (US) and Big Belle (UK)

In 2015, we ran a poll on Series 15 to determine what the best episodes of the Series were as well as what else fans enjoyed about it.  The best and the worst of the characters, episodes, and aspects of production are included and broken down in our poll results blog!  Series 15 is often regarded as the worst season that Thomas & Friends has produced in terms of stories, and was the beginning of our Thomas & Friends Episode Review blogs, pioneered by Simon Martin!

Related Links

Simon Martin's Series 15 Overview

Simon Martin reviewed Series 15 for the SiF Blog as it aired during March of 2011.  In his final report on the Series as a whole, he wrote this Overview of his thoughts on where the series went wrong and why.  Interesting reading from our Essay Annex.
 
Simon's Blog Posts on each episode can be found following the summaries we have written up for them.

Roll Along Thomas Blog - Series 15 DVD Poll

Following the critical reception that met Series 15, Roll Along Thomas Blog did a poll / survey to measure whether or not fans would still buy the DVDs, and if so, what would entice them to buy?  Read the results in the Blog post above. 

Thomas and the Shiny Shiny - A Series 15 Parody

Fancy something a little more light-hearted and 'fun' to brighten up your day and put a smirk on your face?  Professor Vengeance proves that some good came of the poorly written Series 15 scripts with this hilarious parody...

Thomas & Friends On Demand

Series 15 Episode Guide

HEAD WRITER
Sharon Miller

15.1 - Gordon & Ferdinand

Written by Sharon Miller

The Fat Controller is giving Bash, Dash and Ferdinand each a reward for being ‘really useful engines’.  Ferdinand’s reward is to share a ‘special’ with Gordon, transporting the Lion of Sodor from Knapford to the Duke & Duchess of Boxford’s Summer House.  Gordon isn’t pleased – he doesn’t want to be seen with ‘funny frumpy Ferdinand’ and decides to take several routes which will keep him away from other engines who may see them working together.  However, Gordon is stopped by workmen who want to admire Ferdinand, and then by Dowager Hatt and the children as they pass through Maithwaite.  This makes Gordon jealous. 

He then decides to lead Ferdinand across the Fenland bridge.  Ferdinand knows Gordon is going too fast, and urges him to slow down, but Gordon doesn’t want to listen.  As a consequence, the Lion of Sodor falls from the flatbed and into the muddy marsh, leaving Gordon feeling very silly.  He now knows he has been wrong to treat Ferdinand so badly, and asks for his help to put things right.  Ferdinand is delighted to assist and goes to fetch Rocky, who retrieves the statue from the marsh.  Then, once the Lion is cleaned at the Steamworks, Gorodn invites Ferdinand to be the ‘front engine’ and lead the way to the Summer House along all the busiest tracks.  The Duke and Duchess are delighted to receive the statue, but are intrigued by the newcomer.  Gordon announces proudly that this is Ferdinand, his new good friend.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.2 - Toby & Bash

Written by Sharon Miller

Bash’s reward is to spend the day with Toby.  Together, they take children to the seaside, collect trucks from the Quarry and shunt them at the Docks until nightfall.  Both engines are tired, so Toby decides to let Bash sleep in his shed at Arlesdale End.  Bash likes it here, it reminds him of home.  Toby watches over Bash as he sleeps, and decides that the next day, he will find a new home for his new friend on Sodor.

So the next morning, Toby leads Bash across the island trying to find the best place for him to stay.  They arrive at the Fenland, Bash isn’t comfortable and tries to tell Toby, but Toby doesn’t realise until Bash is scared away by the ducks.  They try Farmer McColl’s farm, but Bash is scared away by the cows.  Finally, they arrive at a cliff-top overlooking the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre.  This time, Bash stammers until he finally tells Toby what he’s been trying to say all along – he wants to go home.  He misses the tranquillity of Misty Island, and most of all, he misses Dash and Ferdinand.

Toby realises how ignorant he has been and decides to take Bash on one final journey – home!  There, they meet up with Dash and Ferdinand at the logging station, and listen to the sound of the twittering birds.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.3 - Emily & Dash

Written by Sharon Miller

Emily is given a special job over on Misty Island – she is to take Dash to the Steam Fair so he can be the Star Attraction.  When she arrives, the Logging Locos are doing a special trick – making special sounds with their whistles, which make the sound of tweeting birds.  Emily tries to copy them, but cannot make the special tweeting noise like they can.  Bash, Dash and Ferdinand tell her that it takes a long time to master, but Emily is confident she’ll be able to do it by the time she and Dash arrive at the Steam Fair.

Emily urges Dash to show her how to do it properly as they travel.  Dash warns her that it will use up a lot of his oil, but Emily doesn’t care.  But whilst Dash impresses Gordon and Charlie with his ability, Emily only causes concern for Hiro when he sees her face scrunched up.  Then there’s trouble – Dash runs out of fuel and cannot puff to the Steam Fair, so Emily sets off without him.

But once there, the children are eagerly awaiting Dash’s ‘tweeting whistle’.  Emily tries to do it, but she can’t.  She realises now that she was wrong, and hurries to help Dash and save the children’s day at the Steam Fair.  Soon, Dash is refuelled and ready to perform for the children.  And this time, Emily manages to give a tweeting whistle as well!

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.4 - Percy's New Friends

Written by Gerard Foster

One day, Percy has no work to do, but sadly, he has no friends to play with either – they’re all busy with other jobs.  Sad and lonely, he turns to Cranky, whose friend ‘Seagull’ has come to pay him a visit.  This gives Percy a great idea – he’ll go and make friends with animals in the woods.  Cranky is unsure that Percy knows how to make friends with animals, but Percy is convinced that by being as loud as possible he can win them over as he has done with his engine friends.

But when Percy tries this, he ends up scaring away rabbit, sends squirrels hurrying up a tree and when he tries to chase a bird, he’s disappointed to see it fly away from him out to sea.  Poor Percy is left on his own again, and he is scared witless when Gordon thunders past with the Express.  That’s when he realises his mistake – he had been startled by the loud noise of Gordon and the big Express, and he realises that the small woodland animals would have felt the same way when faced with a big engine like him.

Percy puffs back to the forest and this time, he is quiet and gentle.  One by one, the animals come to him and settle on his buffer beam, then, Percy takes them gently and carefully down the line for a little run.

That evening, the engines are all back at Tidmouth Sheds, but they’re worried because Percy isn’t back yet.  Soon, Percy arrives and asks his friends to be quiet.  They soon find out why when Percy backs in to the shed and introduces them to his new animal friends, sitting happily on his buffer beam.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.5 - Edward The Hero

Written by Sharon Miller 

Edward is to be the Sodor Rescue Engine for the day, but he doesn’t feel confident enough to fill the role.  But when he sees Gordon rushing past with Rocky, he resolves to follow his example, and be “strong, fast and stern”.

On the way to the Rescue Centre, he finds Charlie standing in a siding looking sad.  He’s got a squeaky wheel, he’s late for the children, and he’s forgotten all his jokes.  Edward tells Charlie a joke which cheers him up and boosts his spirits for fetching the children.

Further on, Edward meets Dowager Hatt at Maithwaite, who has left her bag behind at Maron Station.  Edward kindly agrees to go and fetch the bag for her and bring it back.  Dowager Hatt is very grateful to Edward and he puffs off again.

But once again, he’s delayed as he finds Farmer McColl’s dog has wandered off.  Edward puffs quietly and gently, and the dog jumps into his cab.  Edward delivers the dog safely back to Farmer McColl, who is very relieved to have her back.

Now, Edward is late, and despite being funny, helpful and gentle, he doesn’t think he’s been a hero at all.  He arrives at the Rescue Centre to find Harold has gone, and decides to puff sadly back to Knapford.  But on the way, Charlie and the children, Farmer McColl and Dowager Hatt cheer for him and call him ‘Edward The Hero’.  Edward is puzzled – he doesn’t think that he’s done anything heroic at all, but the Fat Controller thinks otherwise, and praises him for his efforts.  But it’s not over yet, Harold arrives at Knapford and rallies Edward into action – he’s ready to be a hero again!

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.6 - James To The Rescue

Written by Sharon Miller

James is proud to have the role of Rescue Engine for the day, but he’s far less enthusiastic when he finds he has to share the honour with Toby.  Their first emergency comes through – Gordon is off the rails at the Fenland bridge, and they need to rescue him.

James takes the situation in hand, and refuses to listen to Toby’s advice.  When he tries to pull Gordon back onto the rails, he ends up derailing him further and making matters worse.  Instead of fetching Rocky to re-rail Gordon as Toby suggests, James decides to go round behind and push Gordon from the other end.  This time, the bridge snaps under Gordon’s weight and sends him crashing down into the muddy marsh.  James then reverses and prepares to shunt Gordon back onto the rails with a mighty jolt.  This only makes matters much worse, with James bashing into the back of Gordon, derailing himself in the process and going flying into the marsh.

Now James realises how silly he has been for not listening to Toby.  Toby is happy to help and with Thomas’s help, comes back with Rocky to lift James and Gordon back onto the track.  With everything put right, James and Toby carry out their duties as the Sodor Rescue engines helping to rescue Charlie, Mavis and Percy throughout the day.  The Fat Controller is pleased with them, and James thanks him for sending Toby to help him.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.7 - Happy Hiro

Written by Sharon Miller

Hiro is feeling homesick, so Thomas decides to take him on a trip to Misty Island to cheer him up with a grand tour.  First, they visit the Hollow Tree Tunnel where Hiro can hear twittering birds, which makes him smile.  But Thomas thinks that a run through the tunnel will make him happier – but it doesn’t.  All Hiro wants to do is puff quietly, but Thomas is far too eager to please him that he doesn’t listen.

They go to the seashore, where Hiro admires the view of the sea, but Thomas is keener to continue his tour with a trip to meet the Logging Locos at the Logging Station.  Once there, the usual chaos with Bash, Dash and Ferdinand is unfolding – but that’s not interesting Hiro, he sees that there’s Jobi logs, which means there must be Jobi trees.  Hiro wants to go and visit them, but Thomas thinks that staying with the Logging Locos is far more fun for Hiro.

In the midst of all the anarchy, Hiro finally loses his temper and makes a stand.  Thomas suddenly realises he hasn’t listened to Hiro – and that he hasn’t cheered him up at all.  He resolves instead to go back and do everything that Hiro wanted to do before.  Gazing out to sea, seeing the birds at the Hollow Tree Tunnel, and finally puffing quietly at the Jobi Forest.  Finally, Hiro feels content and happy.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.8 - Up, Up & Away

Written by Sharon Miller

Thomas and Percy are given the very special job of delivering Mr Bubbles’ big balloon to his Balloon Show.  But the two engines cannot agree on the best means of transporting it there.  Thomas suggests taking it along the woodland track, but Percy thinks that the trees may burst the balloon and thinks that the coastal route would be best.  Thomas is unsure, he thinks the wind may cause trouble, but not wishing to upset his best friend, he reluctantly agrees.

On the coastal track, the wind does cause problems and whips the balloon high into the air and away from Thomas and Percy’s flatbed.  Thomas wants to chase after it, but Percy thinks it better to wait – once again, Thomas reluctantly agrees, not wishing to upset Percy.  Gordon, who is on the other track, tells them that the balloon will not come back to them – the wind will blow it away.  Percy is sad, but Thomas remains positive and suggests they go back to the Docks so that Mr Bubbles can fill another balloon.

This time, when the two friends are taking the balloon to the show ground, they come to a tunnel which the balloon will not fit through.  Thomas wants to go back and find another route, but Percy is confident that it will fit through.  Once again, Thomas reluctantly agrees.  But the balloon only wedges itself in the tunnel and won’t fit through.  Worse still, it’s blocking Gordon’s path.

Thomas and Percy return to the Docks again to get another balloon from Mr Bubbles, who is now quite exhausted with having to blow up a third balloon.  This time on the way to the show, they stop suddenly when they hear Gordon whistling a warning from up ahead.  The sudden stop causes the balloon to fly from the flatbed and high into the air – losing all its air as it spins out of control, and knocks the hats from the heads of The Fat Controller, Lady Hatt and Dowager Hatt on its way to the ground.

Thomas feels guilty – they’ve wasted time and three balloons.  He knew what to do but he didn’t do it because he didn’t want to upset Percy.  But Percy doesn’t mind at all – Thomas is his best friend and he insists that he wouldn’t have been upset at all.  He suggests that they go back to the Docks for one more balloon, but Thomas knows there is other work to do first – the Drivers must pick up the hats and they must clear the tunnel and pop the balloon that they left behind.  Finally, the collect the last balloon and take it to the show ground along the woodland track, taking the now very puffed out, Mr Bubbles with them.  And at the show ground, Thomas, Percy and Gordon are surprised, but delighted to see the first balloon blown back to them after all...

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.9 - Henry's Happy Coal

Written by Sharon Miller

Henry is given the job of taking a very special visitor on a tour of the Island of Sodor.  After collecting the visitor, Henry visits the Steamworks to collect his special coal.  ‘Arry and Bert, who are shunting trucks there, see Henry and tease him for having to use special coal, calling him “Mr Special Steam”.  Henry is worried that the visitor may think badly of him for having to use special coal, so instead, he opts to use normal coal just for the day.  At first, things go well, but Henry soon finds that using normal coal wasn’t a good idea.  Inside the Steamworks, he begins coughing and spluttering, whilst ‘Arry and Bert follow him in and continue to goad him.  Feeling intimidated and embarrassed, Henry tells the special visitor that they must leave quickly.

After using a strenuous journey, where he is covered in soot and ash from using the normal coal, Henry arrives at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre where Thomas and Rocky are waiting.  The special visitor, Thomas and Rocky are all concerned for Henry, but once again, ‘Arry and Bert rattle in behind Henry and tease him about his special coal.  Uncomfortable, Henry urges the special visitor to leave quickly again and head for the Duke & Duchess’s Summer House, where he is to have afternoon tea.

By now, Henry is late, sooty and shuddering all the way up the line.  The Fat Controller and the Duke & Duchess are waiting as Henry pulls in with the very important visitor, who is now covered in coal dust.  Henry feels very guilty for spoiling his visit and thinks that the Fat Controller will be cross.  But the Fat Controller is deeply concerned for Henry.  The reason the special visitor has come is to help Henry – he’s the Railway Coal Inspector, who had come to see how Henry worked by using special coal.  Henry is relieved and suggests another tour of the island – this time, using ‘special coal’.

This time, Henry takes ‘Arry and Bert’s teasing in his stride, and has a splendid afternoon.  But poor ‘Arry and Bert end up suffering themselves – they’ve run out of Diesel oil and need Henry’s help to get moving again.  Henry proudly lends his services and shows them just how useful an engine running on ‘special coal’ can be!

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.10 - Let It Snow

Written by Sharon Miller

 

Thomas and Gordon are sent to Misty Island to collect hill, sea and Jobi logs for Farmer McColl’s new animal shelter.  When they arrive at the Logging Station, Bash, Dash and Ferdinand welcome them to their “Winter Wonderland”.  Gordon is indignant and tells them that they need snow for it to be a “Winter Wonderland”.  The Logging Locos tell him that in order for snow to fall, they must first sing the ‘Misty Island Snow Song’.  Gordon thinks it is nonsense, but Thomas is intrigued.  The Logging Locos explain the idea:

 

You puff to the hill and stay quite still
You chuff to
the sea and you wait patiently
Then, you steam back to
here
And the snow will appear!

 

So Thomas puffs away to put it into practice – neglecting the work that he and Gordon have been sent to do!  Thomas heads to the hill and stays quite still.  Then he chuffs to the sea and waits patiently.  Each time, Thomas puffs back to Gordon who asks if he has collected logs from each location.  But Thomas is still too keen on seeing if the song works.  Finally, he steams back to the Logging Station – but there’s no snow... poor Thomas is sad, and there’s still a lot of work to be done.  In the end, he and Gordon collect the hill logs from the hill, sea logs from the sea and Jobi logs from the Logging Station.  Once he’s loaded, Gordon races back to Sodor.  The Logging Locos are sorry that the song didn’t work – but all of a sudden, Thomas sees a snowflake falling from the sky.  Thomas is excited and chases after Gordon to show him.  Together, the two friends sing the Misty Island Snow song as they puff back across the Island.  This time, the Logging Locos have their “Winter Wonderland” and all the engines wish one another a ‘Happy Winter Holiday’.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.11 - Surprise Surprise

Written by Sharon Miller

Thomas is excited about the Winter Holiday Party.  But to put a dampner on things, Thomas finds that Percy, Edward and Stanley have all broken down.  Thomas shunts them all to the Steamworks, confident that they will be mended in time for the party – but Victor isn’t so sure.  All three engines are now upset about missing the festivities, but Thomas has an idea to cheer them up – he’ll organise a special party for them at the Steamworks instead without Victor knowing.

First, he finds Charlie at Maithwaite and asks him to come and tell jokes for Edward, Percy and Stanley at his ‘party’.  But Charlie is far too loud and Victor orders him and Thomas out of the Steamworks so that he can work.  Thomas reverses much too quickly and shunts Charlie right off the track – giving Victor yet more work to do...

In order to put things right, Thomas puffs off to find Rocky, who is unloading a Christmas Tree at the Docks.  Thomas thinks it would be a great addition to his ‘party’ and suggests to Rocky that they borrow it.

When they arrive, Victor is still very busy.  Rocky tries to quietly unload the Christmas Tree crate, but Victor hears him and causes him to drop it right in front of Kevin who bashes into it.  Thomas is very sorry for all the trouble he has caused and tells Victor why he has done it.  Victor is kind and tells Thomas that he should have told him sooner.  Together, they work to put Thomas’s plans into action and have a Christmas Party at the Steamworks.  Percy thinks it’s the best Christmas Party ever, and Thomas has to agree.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.12 - Spencer The Grand

Written by Jessica Sandys Clarke

It’s a very foggy day on the Island of Sodor, and the Fat Controller has suspended services on the railway.  All the engines must stay where they are to save them being lost in the fog.  Spencer, who is visiting the railway, is invited to stay in Percy’s berth at Tidmouth Sheds until he returns from the delivering the mail – however, Spencer thinks himself above staying at Tidmouth, and thinks he could find his way back to the Duke & Duchess’s Summer House easily.

He sets off out in to the fog, but the visibility is so poor that he cannot see ahead.  Spencer looks out for familiar landmarks, and sees something that resembles the Summer House building... only to hear Mavis’s voice calling out to him – he’s in the Quarry, and the ‘building’ is actually just a rockface!

Spencer steams off again, this time, he sees a platform ahead and assumes it’s the Summer House station... only to hear Whiff’s voice calling out to him – he’s at the Rubbish Dump, and the ‘platform’ is actually the rubbish crusher.

In a final bid to reach home, Spencer chuffs bravely out into the fog.  This time, he sees light coming from tall windows towering above him... only to hear Thomas’s voice calling out to him and find he’s returned to Tidmouth Sheds again.  Spencer feels very silly and declines Thomas’s offer to stay with them – but then he sees that Percy still hasn’t returned.  Thomas tells him that Percy is still doing his mail run, and the other engines are getting worried.

Spencer decides to put things right and heads out into the fog to find Percy.  He soon hears a distant whistle, which he follows to find Percy standing lost and alone.  Together, the two engines make their way back to Tidmouth sheds, following the sound of Thomas’s whistle to guide them home.  Percy is very grateful to Spencer for all his help, and invites him to stay with the engines until the fog lifts.  Spencer happily, but humbly, agrees.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.13 - Stop That Bus

Written by Sharon Miller

Bertie the Bus is feeling sorry for himself.  He sees Thomas rushing all over the island, and would love to do the same – but all he has to do that day is stand and wait for Dowager Hatt and her friends at the bus stop.  Bertie follows Thomas to the Steamworks and tells him how he is feeling.  Thomas feels sorry for his friend and offers to take Bertie on a tour of the wonderful sights that he cannot see from the road.  At first, Bertie is unsure if there’s time, but Thomas is confident that they will be back in time for Dowager Hatt and her friends.

Thomas takes Bertie to the Fenland, then on the way to Gordon’s Hill, he spies Dowager Hatt.  He urges Thomas to stop and let him roll off, but Thomas cannot hear.  Once Bertie has Thomas’s attention on Gordon’s Hill, he asks him to take him back to fetch Dowager Hatt, but Thomas wants to go on a  trip to Misty Island to meet Bash, Dash and Ferdinand.  Bertie is grateful, but he’s still worried about letting Dowager Hatt down.  This time when they pass Dowager Hatt, she sees and calls to them, but Thomas cannot hear and carries on to Misty Island.

The Logging Locos are pleased to meet Bertie, but the little red bus wants to go back and fetch Dowager Hatt and her friends.  Thomas insists that before they do, they must take a trip over the Shake Shake Bridge.  It’s here that Thomas’s plans finally come undone – as Bertie rolls off the flatbed and onto the Bridge!  He’s left shaking and swaying on the dangerous crossing, whilst Thomas steams on, unaware.  The Fat Controller arrives on a pump-truck and demands to know what Thomas has been doing with Bertie all afternoon.

Thomas feels bad, he wanted to give Bertie a tour and now all he’s done is ruin Dowager Hatt’s plans and put Bertie in danger.  He hurries off to get Harold to airlift Bertie from the bridge, and then fetches Dowager Hatt and her friends for a special trip to Misty Island.  They arrive just in time to see Harold lifting Bertie to safety.  Thomas kindly offers to allow Dowager Hatt and her friends ride back to Sodor onboard Bertie, whilst he pulls the flatbed along behind.  The Dowager is delighted, and once back again on Sodor, thanks Thomas for a wonderful time.  Despite the danger, Bertie is very grateful too, and even the Fat Controller is glad that Thomas gave everyone an eventful day out.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.14 - Stuck On You

Written by Sharon Miller 

Thomas is given the special job of being the Sodor Rescue Engine for the day.  Today, he gets to work with Butch the Breakdown Lorry, who has been fitted with a special magnet to help him in rescues.  Eager to get started, Thomas and Butch race away from the Steamworks before Victor can tell them how to work the magnet properly by waiting for the red light to come on to show it’s active.  Thomas insists that he knows all about magnets and that they’ll be fine.  But when they reach the Rescue Centre, Thomas and Butch soon find that they’re a little out of their depth...

When Rocky tells them that they need to deliver pipes for Farmer McColl, Butch cannot latch onto them properly, and ends up knocking them into the sea, and they almost end up striking Captain.  Then, they need to fetch a wheel for Rosie, who has cracked a wheel, which Butch cannot attract to the magnet either – and instead, sends it rolling toward Rocky.  In a last ditch attempt to see if it works, Thomas tells Butch to attach the magnet to his tank.  This time, the magnet works – but it won’t let go of Thomas!  Butch tries to lift it off, but neither of them know how to detach it.

Thomas and Butch realise their mistake and go sheepishly to the Steamworks to see Victor at once.  On the way, James and Gordon laugh at them as they pass by, but Thomas is still determined.  Victor explains kindly that the red light is important, and when Butch switches it off, the magnet falls off Thomas’s tank.  Now, they are able to deliver the pipes and Rosie’s wheel to her with no fuss at all.  By the end of the day, everyone agrees that both Thomas and Butch have done a fine job of being the Rescue Team.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.15 - Big Belle

Written by Sharon Miller

Belle the big tank engine sees Toby steaming out of Knapford Station and asks Thomas all about him.  She sees that Toby has a bell just like her and decides that they will be very good friends, so goes off to find him at his home in Arlesdale End.  Toby is surprised to see Belle, who encourages him to come out and have fun with her.  But Toby would rather rest quietly in his shed for a while.

Nonetheless, Toby chuffs along with Belle, who leads him to Gordon’s Hill and challenges him to a race up and down the hill.  But as Belle steams gamely up, Toby slips away to hide.  Belle rolls down the other side to find Toby isn’t there, and steams back to find him in some bushes.  Toby explains that he’s an old steam tram and doesn’t like that sort of thing – so Belle decides to go somewhere else that’s fun.

Next, they go to Farmer Trotter’s pig farm.  Toby is happy to watch the pigs playing in the mud, but Belle decides to make it more exciting by spraying water at them with her water cannons to make it even muddier.  Toby is startled and races away from Belle again.  Once again, Belle finds him and he meekly explains that he’s never seen an engine shoot water like that before.  But Belle has another idea and encourages Toby to come along with her to Maithwaite Station.

When they get to Maithwaite, Belle rings her bell loudly and causes Toby to run from her a third time – this time, he goes all the way back to Arlesdale End.  Belle returns to find him and apologises for her behaviour, explaining that she just wanted to be his friend.  But then, they find that they both like the sound of the birds outside Toby’s shed.  This time, Toby warms to Belle and asks her to come with him to visit the pigs again.  Together, they are both quiet and content and Toby introduces Belle to all of his friends at the pig farm and at Maithwaite Station, where they both ring their bells as quietly as they can.  Together, they have a happy afternoon as ‘The Bells of Sodor’.

Click Here For The SiF Blog Review

15.16 - Kevin The Steamie

Written by Laurie Israel & Rachel Ruderman

It’s a busy day at the Steamworks, and Victor is off to collect a new boiler for Spencer, leaving Kevin in charge of operations for the day.  Bu Kevin is disappointed when he cannot join in Thomas and Percy’s ‘Bish, Bash, Bosh’ game – shunting a flatbed of oil drums between each other.  Kevin has a go, but he ends up knocking it over instead.  The two friends are kind and encourage Kevin to practice so that they can play when they come back to visit later.

Meanwhile, there’s work to be done.  When Emily wants her buffers buffed, but there’s an oil-drum blocking Kevin’s path – he sees it as a grand opportunity to practice playing ‘Bish, Bash, Bosh’.  Instead, it hits off Emily’s wheels and scratches them.  Then, Spencer puffs in to collect his new boiler.  In a frantic rush, Kevin comes across another oil drum to ‘practice’ with and biffs that one too – this time, it rolls to Spencer and wedges itself under his buffer beam – stopping him from moving.  Kevin spins around again, hitting another oil drum, but sending it in a smooth motion – this time he feels proud of himself.  But just as Victor returns, Kevin whacks another one, which goes into the air and spills its contents all over Victor, who is very cross.

Now, everything’s a mess and Kevin feels very guilty.  Then, Thomas and Percy arrive back to play with Kevin.  But despite really wanting to play ‘Bish, Bash, Bosh’, Kevin decides to get to work and clear up the mess he has made.  He fetches a new wheel for Emily and frees the oil drum from under Spencer.  Finally, he fetches soapy water to wash Victor.  But he has to lay his bucket down to let Spencer pass over the turntable – and ends up losing the bucket behind the flatbed he toppled earlier.  Thomas and Percy help him find it – and ‘accidentally’ plays ‘Hide and Peep’.

This time, when all the work is done and Victor gives him permission, the three friends play ‘Hide and Peep’ with Kevin using his hook to disguise his hiding places.  Thomas tells Kevin that no steamie could ever hide as well as Kevin could with his hook, and Kevin agrees “that that’s the best thing about being a crane!”

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15.17 - Wonky Whistle

Written by Neil Ben

It’s the day of the Country Show, and Thomas is at the Steamworks being fitted with a new whistle.  He is eager to get back to work and head to the Country Show, and even more so when the Fat Controller arrives and gives him the job of taking Farmer McColl’s animals there, and to whistle and tell everyone about the Country Show.

Thomas becomes impatient.  Despite warnings from Kevin and Victor, who orders the Workmen to keep fitting the whistle, (which is still wonky), Thomas steams out of the Steamworks, knocking the Workmen off his tanks in the process.  Thomas blows his wonky whistle as he leaves and startles Kevin with the strange noise it makes.  But Thomas doesn’t care – he thinks it sounds fine and puffs on gamely to Farmer McColl’s to collect the animals.  Once there, he steams away before the door of the van can be closed properly...

Thomas puffs to the bridge to tell people about the Country Show.  He blows his whistle, which frightens Katie the sheepdog, who bolts from the van and out onto the grass – the crowd on the bridge call to Thomas to warn him, but he cannot hear them and puffs off without Katie onboard.  Thomas then puffs to Maithwaite, passing Bertie the Bus at the level crossing.  Thomas blows his wonky whistle and calls to Bertie’s passengers about the Country Show – but this time, he frightens the ducks in his van and sends them flying out the door.  Bertie honks his horn to warn Thomas, but Thomas doesn’t realise and keeps on going to Maithwaite.  Once at Maithwaite, Thomas blows his wonky whistle again and frightens Farmer McColl’s prize cow – which runs out onto the platform.  The Station Master calls to warn Thomas as well, but Thomas thinks he is trying to say “Hello!” and keeps heading for the Country Show.

But when Thomas arrives at the Country Show, there’s no-one there but Farmer McColl, who is very surprised to find his animals are missing.  Thomas feels bad that no-one has come, and blows his wonky whistle again – this time startling the sheep out of their pen.  This time, Thomas sees that the wonky whistle is scaring the animals, and realises what has gone wrong.

He races back to the Steamworks to have his whistle fixed properly, and this time, he waits until it is done properly.  Once he is ready, he goes to the farm to collect the animals’ favourite food to entice them back to his truck.  One by one, they come back and Thomas is able to get them to the Country Show safely.  He then chuffs around the Island telling everyone about the Country Show, and this time, everyone is happy to hear his whistle!  The Fat Controller is pleased with Thomas and as a special treat, he asks him to blow his new whistle to open the Country Show.

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15.18 - Percy The Snowman

Written by Lizzie Ennever

Thomas is given the job of taking the Fat Controller to switch on the Christmas lights at the town square when he is finished all his work for the day.  Whilst clearing the tracks of snow, Thomas meets Percy, who has been forced into a siding because his trucks ran out of control.  When Thomas tells him about taking the Fat Controller to turn on the Christmas lights, Percy is sad – he has finished all his jobs, but not been given a special.  So Thomas decides that it would be fun to share the special with Percy at the end of the day’s work.

But with every one of his jobs, as Thomas passes Percy, he splatters more and more snow over him, covering him deeper and deeper in a thick drift.  By the time Thomas comes back to the siding, Percy has disappeared, and in his place is a thick pile of snow!  It’s not until Gordon rushes past, spraying snow all over a bush to make it look like a snowball, that it all makes sense to Thomas – he’s covered Percy in snow!  Suddenly, some snow slips away, and Percy’s face peers out from the snow – his firebox has gone out and he can’t go anywhere, so he cannot share the special after all.

But Thomas knows just what to do – he puffs to Knapford Station to collect the Fat Controller, and once the Christmas lights have been switched on, he takes the children to see Percy at the siding.  The children cheer for Percy the Snow Engine, the Fat Controller chuckles, and Thomas feels happy to have shared his special with his best friend.

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15.19 - Tree Trouble

Written by Sharon Miller

Dowager Hatt is going to the Dieselworks to see their Christmas Tree – and tells Dart, Den and Diesel to find the tallest and grandest tree they can.  Thomas takes objection to this and says that the Steamworks should have the honour of having the tallest and grandest tree on the Island.  Dowager Hatt thinks it a grand idea for the steam engines and Diesels to have a competition to see who can find the best tree – and she will be the judge.

Thomas tells the other engines about his plan at the Steamworks, where Dart, Den and Diesel roll up to challenge him.  The four of them set off together to find trees for their Works, all determined to outdo the other.  At Maithwaite, they find two trees that the Diesels are very impressed by – they’re green, glossy, bushy and bold.  But Thomas is critical – he thinks they’re too small.  Next, they go to Maron Station, where more trees are on the platform.  Once again, the Diesels are impressed – the trees are tall, but Thomas doesn’t think they’re grand at all.

Finally, they go to Misty Island to find tall grand trees for the competition, and call upon the help of the Logging Locos.  Bash, Dash and Ferdinand bring back two tall and grand trees for the competition, and the four engines set off back to Dowager Hatt to win the competition.  But as they emerge from the Misty Island Tunnel, they see Gordon racing toward them – Thomas has to make an emergency stop to avoid a collision, but in the process, causes his tree to fall off the flatbed.  Diesel stops just in time, but Thomas reverses quickly and crushes his tree – and causes Diesel to reverse as well and do the same.  Both engines are very upset – now there can’t be a competition after all.

Together, the four engines return to the Dieselworks where Dowager Hatt is waiting to judge their trees – but all come back empty-handed.  Then, Thomas resolves to put everything right by going back to Misty Island and fetching another tall, grand tree from the Logging Locos and bringing it back to the Dieselworks.  One by one, Thomas’s friends arrive to help decorate the tree, and bring a smile to the faces of all the Diesels at the Dieselworks.

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15.20 - Fiery Flynn

Written by Sharon Miller

Flynn the Fire Engine is on standby at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, where Diesel is shunting trucks.  Diesel is jealous – he thinks Flynn is lazy and says that he is ‘never busy’.  Flynn is flustered and tries to justify himself and that he will be busy when the alarm goes off for a fire rescue.  Suddenly, Rocky calls out about an emergency – a blue engine is on fire.  But before Rocky can finish the message – Flynn has sped out of the Rescue Centre and is off on the hunt for the ‘blue engine on fire’.

First, he comes upon Edward at the coal hopper and sprays him with water – only to find that he’s not the blue engine who’s on fire.  Dart, who is shunting nearby thinks it’s very funny and laughs at “Fumbling Flynn”.  Flynn speeds off again in search of ‘the blue engine on fire’ and comes across Gordon at Maron Station.  Once again, Flynn sprays water on him – and soaks the Fat Controller in the process!  Den, who is delivering trucks nearby laughs too as “Fiery Flynn fudges it!”

Now Flynn is sad and worried – he hasn’t found the ‘blue engine’ and has no idea where or who it could be.  By luck he arrives at the Dieselworks to find Thomas, whose firebox is on fire.  Flynn prepares to shoot water from his cannons, but he’s completely dry.  He now needs the help of the Diesels at the sheds to save Thomas.  Together, their Drivers get buckets of water and throw them into Thomas’s firebox to put out the fire.

Flynn returns to the Search and Rescue Centre where he is refilled with water.  Diesel finds it very amusing when he sees him return and asks if he’s “still waiting to be busy”.  This time, Flynn takes it in his stride, and just as well – because there’s another emergency at the Quarry and this time, Flynn waits for Rocky’s instructions before going off to save Mavis after her trucks catch fire.

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